Edited By Stephen Coleman, Anna Przybylska and Yves Sintomer
Tatsuro Sakano - Chapter Eight. To What Extent Do Deliberative Polls Promote Discursive Rationality? Some Evidence from a Deliberative Poll on Reframing Regional Governments in the Prefecture of Kanagawa, Japan
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Chapter Eight. To What Extent Do Deliberative Polls Promote Discursive Rationality? Some Evidence from a Deliberative Poll on Reframing Regional Governments in the Prefecture of Kanagawa, Japan
Japan is known for its strong bureaucracy. Formally the legislative and budgeting power is vested in elected officials and their assemblies. However, the elected officials depend on bureaucrats when they formulate policies. Thus most policies and ordinances are understood to be practically made by bureaucrats. While the fundamental nature of the government has not changed for many years, citizen participation in administrative planning has been institutionalized gradually since the 1970’s. Town meetings and public comments are now common at all levels of government, from the nationwide to municipal. Some local governments have taken a step further to enact basic ordinances in order to stipulate their citizens’ right to participate in policy making. Kanagawa prefecture, lying south-west of Tokyo, is one of such leading local governments. Out of forty-seven prefecture-level governments, the Kanagawa Prefectural Government (KPG) was third to enact such ordinances in the year 2009. In the same year the first DP in Japan was held by the KPG (Sakano 2012, 24–29).
Along with the trends of expanding citizen participation, social experiments using mini-publics started in the late 1990s. The first Japanese Consensus Conference was held in 1998 by STS (Science, Technology and Society) in a group concerned with gene therapy. It is reported that at least 10...
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